I Too Sing America. How Langston Hughes’ words still ring sorrowfully true, 80 years later.

I get the phone calls- almost daily. From my sisters across the country when another one of us is murdered, another child is dragged with a noose around her neck, another one of us is raped or beaten. We are more reliable than CNN in our reporting- getting solace in our outrage in our phone calls because we know we won’t find solace outside of us.

People get it twisted over what my usage of ‘Luna Is America’ is about. If you are basic, don’t know your history, or out here sleeping- you might miss that it is an attempt in reminding you of a collective humanity that is constantly subjected to that of second hand citizenship- if we even want to be lenient enough to use ‘citizenship’. I wanted to find the words that conveyed what it’s like to walk with hopes, and aspirations and a noose constantly hanging over your head. How could I describe the experience of being reminded on the daily that you are not enough- and choosing to challenge that in the ultimate defiance of laughing and prospering anyway. I’m joyful out of spite. I clock in on happiness like its my damn job. I mourn and I’m sorrowful at times like all of us but I refuse to beg to be respected. And I know that we are the heirs of the American Dream and happiness and greatness belongs to all of us.

Langston Hughes described this exact sentiment 80 years ago. So unfortunately and fortunately the words I would use to describe the constant reminding of the brutality against us was already there. I just hope we won’t be needing the same words in another 80 years #AltonSterling

I, Too

I, too, sing America.
 I am the darker brother
 They send me to eat in the kitchen
 When company comes,
 But I laugh.
 And eat well,
 And grow strong.

Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table
 When company comes.
 Nobody’s like dare
 Say to me,
 “Eat in the kitchen,”
 Then.

Besides,
 They’ll see how beautiful I am
 And be ashamed-

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes.